LONDON (AP) — Mesut Ozil's looping header sent Arsenal rising to the English Premier League summit with a 3-1 victory over Stoke on Saturday, capping a strong week for Arsene Wenger's side.
Arsenal had to come from behind after Charlie Adamconverted a 29th-minute penalty but looked more convincing after Theo Walcott's equalizer just before halftime. Ozil's header on the other side of the break put Arsenal in front and Alex Iwobi netted the goal in the 75th minute that pushed his team top on goal difference ahead of Chelsea, which plays West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
The only concern for Wenger will be Arsenal's solitary clean sheet in its last 10 games in all competitions. But the north London club has quickly moved on from an erratic November with a trio of victories at the start of December. After overpowering West Ham 5-1 last week, Arsenal won 4-1 at Basel on Tuesday to secure top spot in its Champions League group for the first time in five years.
Stoke profited from a contentiously awarded penalty after Granit Xhaka caught Joe Allen with his elbow and Adam converted from the spot.
But a slick move down the right flank carved open Stoke for the equalizer. Alexis Sanchez passed to Hector Bellerin, whose cross was turned in at the far post by Walcott.
Four minutes into the second half, Stoke's defense was static as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's delicately placed chip flew over them and the unmarked Ozil's header flew over goalkeeper Lee Grant. It was the first time Ozil has scored in successive league games in 22 months.
Stoke substitute Peter Crouch missed a chance to equalize before Iwobi wrapped up the victory.
Sanchez was tripped as he cut into the penalty area, but referee Lee Mason allowed play to continue as Iwobi burst into the penalty area and regained the ball before netting his first goal of the league campaign.
Swansea 3, Sunderland 0
SWANSEA, Wales (AP) — Under-fire manager Bob Bradley had his best day so far in the English Premier League as Swansea beat fellow struggler Sunderland 3-0 to move out of the relegation zone on Saturday.
The American coach came into the home game with only one win in his seven matches in charge, and Swansea at the bottom of the league table.
But the Swans surged to their biggest win of the season with three goals after the interval—a second-half penalty from Gylfi Sigurdsson and a Fernando Llorentedouble.
The win moves Swansea up three places to 17th with 12 points from 15 games. It will drop back into danger if West Ham gets a point or more at Liverpool on Sunday.
After a scoreless first half, the game turned on a 51st-minute incident when Jason Denayer was judged to have handled Wayne Routledge's cross.
Sigurdsson sent the spot kick down the middle for his sixth goal of the season.
Three minutes later, Sigurdsson turned provider as Llorente swept home a corner directed low into the penalty area.
Jordan Pickford produced fine stops to prevent Modou Barrow and Jordi Amatextending Swansea's lead.
But the Sunderland goalkeeper had no answer when Llorente met Jefferson Montero's cross 10 minutes from time.
Watford 3, Everton 2
WATFORD, England (AP) — Stefano Okaka's impressive double led Watford to a 3-2 comeback victory over Everton in the Premier League on Saturday.
After falling behind to Romelu Lukaku's strike, Okaka's first goals for Watford either side of Sebastian Prodl's header secured a much-needed win for Walter Mazzarri's side.
Watford survived a late scare when Lukaku added his second.
Watford moved into the top half of the table with 21 points, one point more than Everton, which has now failed to win its last five league games.
With host Watford having lost its previous two league matches, both sides lacked confidence early on as a scrappy first half was only illuminated by two moments of quality.
First, Lukaku calmly slid the ball past Heurelho Gomes in the 17th after some suspect defending allowed him to latch onto Gareth Barry's hopeful throughball.
Having initially struggled to respond, Watford was inspired by a moment of brilliance from Okaka. The Italian forward played the ball out wide to Nordin Amrabat before surging into the box and superbly back-heeling the winger's return cross into the net.
Encouraged by the equalizer, Watford began the second half with greater intensity and was rewarded in the 59th when defender Prodl met Jose Holebas' excellent free kick from the right.
Just five minutes later Holebas was the provider once more as Okaka met his corner at the near post, with his header just crossing the line despite Leighton Baines' best efforts to keep the ball out at the back post.
Everton manager Ronald Koeman threw on Ross Barkley, Enner Valencia and Aaron Lennon in an attempt to get his side back in the game, and Lennon delivered a perfect cross for Lukaku to head home in the 86th.